July 19, 2018

Learning the marketing skills relevant to ... now

Jen Sharp | GreenFig Student
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Jen Sharp | GreenFig Student

Our Student Stories blog series highlights the experiences of GreenFig students currently enrolled in our Digital Marketing Science course.  Here, we will introduce you to several current students, find out what drove them to GreenFig, what skills they are developing right now, and what they aim to achieve with their microdegree from GreenFig.

Fall 2017 Digital Marketing Science: Learning the marketing skills relevant to…… now

“If I had only known this back then…”

That was Jen Sharp’s initial thought when she reflects on the first half of her experience as a student in GreenFig’s Digital Marketing Science course.

Her second thought, “And now, if I could only work for one of these people.”

Before enrolling in the course this fall the former inside marketer at a healthcare software company wanted to broaden her skills and gain an understanding of higher-level business strategy. In her previous position, she was responsible for implementing tactical initiatives such as sending out campaigns, managing outside vendors, and handling logistics for tradeshows.

Jen says she did not have a deeply rooted understanding of skills areas such as SEO or content marketing and her company’s “strategy” often felt like throwing marketing darts at a board and hoping one lands.

While her degree is in project management, her skills and understanding of digital marketing were largely self-taught.

What she was missing, she says, was a higher-level view of how multiple marketing tactics coalesce to support a broader company-wide marketing strategy.

“Just in the short time I have been taking this course, I have already learned more than I did from my entire college degree,” Jen says. “The information is very relevant to what is happening and what you need to land a great position right now.”

Jen credits her industry instructors, many of whom are current CMOs, with helping her hone her technology skills and understand the importance of foundational aspects of marketing, such as crafting personas.

“The instructors go so in-depth,” she says. “When you wear a lot of hats you do not get to dive deep into SEO or content or whatever it may be. It is refreshing to learn from leaders that support what it takes to have a really good marketing program.”

Jen hopes to leverage her microdegree from GreenFig to land a marketing or sales position or a hybrid role, where she can apply her new skills in alignment. To that end, networking with her fellow students and with course instructors have been an unexpected bonus.

“I’m learning that marketing is extremely complex and changing on almost a daily basis,” she says, adding “If you are not keeping up, you are falling behind”.


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History Majors: You’ve Got a Future in Tech

We’ve all heard the joke: What’s the difference between a large pizza and a history degree? One can feed a family of four. For the purposes of the pun, history can be replaced with any liberal arts major. From English and art history to political science and philosophy — the notion has been that those who choose a humanities tract graduate from college with heaps of debt yet find themselves working as a barista or the checkout line at Whole Foods. But that doesn’t mean their liberal arts degree doesn’t have value — even as we transform to a digital age. Many assume that in our current (and future) tech-consumed and driven world, that math and science education — software engineering, programming, coding, and the like — is the exclusive golden ticket to career success. To be sure, we need these kinds of minds and this kind of training. But, it’s a mistake to believe that the liberal arts educated don’t have a critical role to play in the digital workforce. Because after all, who is going to do the selling, the marketing and the customer servicing of today’s technology services and products? Answer: Those who have honed critical thinking, writing and interpersonal skills, and who possess the nontechnical ability to connect with end users a la their liberal arts education. This notion is confirmed in “That ‘Useless” Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket,” a Forbes article that provides example after example of liberal arts degree holders achieving success in today’s tech world, along with stats to back up the claim that tech companies are increasingly recruiting more nontechnical talent. The article uses the analogy of the automobile industry in the 1920s, which “created enormous numbers of jobs for people who helped fit cars into everyday life: marketers, salesmen, driving instructors, road crews and so on.” A similar trend is unfolding today. The article goes on to reveal that “throughout the major U.S. tech hubs, whether Silicon Valley or Seattle, Boston or Austin, Texas, software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger. Engineers may still command the biggest salaries, but at disruptive juggernauts such as Facebook and Uber, the war for talent has moved to nontechnical jobs, particularly sales and marketing. The more that audacious coders dream of changing the world, the more they need to fill their companies with social alchemists who can connect with customers — and make progress seem pleasant.” And the ability to connect is what liberal arts thinkers do best. But don’t pack your bags for Silicon Valley just yet, English majors. Yes, you’ve got great critical thinking, writing and communication skills. And yes, tech companies are hiring nontechnical people like you. But to land one of the aforementioned sales and marketing positions requires more than just a degree. While you have the right foundation, your university education did not prepare you with the up-to-date digital skills and experience required for a job-ready resume in the fast-moving, fast-changing digital age. That’s why a liberal arts degree crossed with a microdegree in applied business science from GreenFig is such a powerful combination for procuring a growth career in tech. GreenFig’s curriculum has been tailored by industry experts to help you gain these high-demand skills and master critical strategic concepts in a short period of time. And unlike traditional online courses, GreenFig’s hybrid training platform is laser-focused on experiential learning — combining live, interactive online and offline team-based instruction, all the while guaranteeing its students gain real-world, practical experience. So you can demand a higher salary in an evolving industry faster than it takes to perfect latte art. For more details on how you can transform your liberal arts resume into a tech-ready ticket in less than 10 hours a week, visit greenfig.net. Click here course schedule for September 13, 2017 term.

Thursday, July 19, 2018